The news from Ukraine does affect MC students / Chloe Newton

The “MC Bubble” can create a blinder to what is happening in the world beyond campus and the Clinton community. Homework, tests, extracurriculars, and weekend plans send students involuntarily down the rabbit hole of total Mississippi College immersion. For any college student, either at MC or at another university, it is easy to be roped into one’s immediate surroundings. Yet, some things call for students to look up for a second and to be aware of what is happening in the lives of individuals beyond campus, beyond Mississippi, and even beyond the United States.

Approximately 5,800 miles from campus, Ukrainian citizens have watched their lives and their country change because of the arrival of Russian troops on the eastern border. The slow rise of tension between Russia and Ukraine has been building for years, but most recently, Russia is threatened by Ukraine’s functioning democracy and possible admission into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 

PC: Leadership.ng; Caption: Russian troops surrounded the country of Ukraine and threatened to invade her at a moment’s notice. Countries of NATO are attempting to prevent this attack.

Dr. Antizzo, associate professor of history and political science, said, “It’s our policy that when communists are trying to topple a friendly democratic government, we will be there to help.”

While this issue is far away geographically, students from MC have been affected by this development. MC serves as a temporary home to several international students, four of whom are Ukrainian.

Volodymyr “Vova” Lushnikov, a sophomore interior design student, started studying at MC in the fall of 2020. Lushnikov came to MC with the intention to play on the university’s ping pong team. Though the program was cut, his scholarship was honored, and he continued to study with the university. Lushnikov’s hometown is the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv; his family still lives there today. Unlike many families, the Lushnikov family is not scared of Russia and her threats. Since 2011, Lushnikov and his parents have kept well-informed about government and politics. Lushnikov places trust in NATO and the United States to protect the country of Ukraine.

“I’m not scared [of Russia]. People can solve problems by diplomatic solutions. I’m sad though because there is no point in making a war between Russia and Ukraine. It’s crazy,” said Lushnikov.

PC: Chloe Newton; Caption: Vova Lushnikov, a sophomore from Kyiv, Ukraine, is not scared of the threats from Russia. He sees no benefit for Russia to make war with Ukraine and ultimately, the world.

Why does this issue that is taking place mainly on another continent matter to Americans, much less MC students? Dr. Antizzo puts it well.

He said, “We’ve always considered ourselves the champions of democracy. Are you willing to stand by while democracy is crushed and the world looks on?”

The United States is the most powerful nation in the world. Whether one believes it or not, the U.S. is also the freest nation. Because of America’s history with her assistance in the first and second World Wars, all other countries are looking to see what actions the U.S. will take in light of Russia’s provoking movement on the eastern border of Ukraine. 

“The burden of being the world’s policeman is a heavy load psychologically, militarily, and financially on the United States. If the United States gives up its role as a world leader, then somebody is going to step up and take it,” said Antizzo. 

The next two options to fill in the position of “world leader” would be Russia and China, both communist countries.

Zooming in closer to how this situation affects MC students, the application is a little more broad. The first application is most obviously prayer. Praying for protection and for the wisdom of leaders of NATO are among the best ways to pray. God has providentially brought this body of students together. The body is composed of students from all over the United States and from several other countries. Each individual possesses a unique story and life lessons. For international students, the culture they were brought up in is completely different from those raised in the U.S. These are stories to be shared if only someone was curious enough to ask. 

Mark 12:31 says, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

God calls the believers on this campus to look outside of themselves and to love those around them. By asking international students more about themselves, not only can believers learn about them as individuals but also learn about their countries, who need the gospel of Jesus Christ just as much as Americans do.

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